Ten Technologies: A Brief Look at Military Evolution – Modeling and Simulation

By Carla Voorhees,
Defense Media Activity

This is the final in a series of 10 technologies integral to the United States military since World War I.

All branches of the military rely on modeling and simulation for planning purposes, war games, training, exercises, development of new technology, and many other reasons.

Amela Sadagic, a research associate professor, demonstrates the virtual sand table for urban warfare operations training rehearsals during the MOVES 9th Annual Research Summit July 22, 2009, in Monterey, Calif. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John Fischer)


There is a tactical advantage to war-game modeling: using maps, figurines, virtual reality and full-scale exercises allow warfighters to “see” a battle beforehand and prepare for the challenges they will face. Virtual sand tables are making that even easier, showing terrain and building representations in an easy-to-use format.

Modeling and simulation can also be used to develop new technology. How a new technology will perform can be tested both virtually and in the lab. For example, a new aircraft wing shape can be drawn on a computer and then tested in a wind tunnel. Both sets of tests are a form of modeling.

Additionally, new technologies can be tested and evaluated for human compatibility. Ultimately, the end user must be able to understand the system and be able to interact with it in a comfortable manner, both physically and intellectually. Labs such as the Usability Lab run by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology  are great examples of this type of simulation.

Sources:
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-sims.htm
http://www.afams.af.mil/index.asp
http://www.ms.army.mil/
http://www.dod-msiac.org/
http://science.dodlive.mil/2011/05/11/modeling-human-interface/
http://science.dodlive.mil/2011/11/02/is-it-user-friendly-this-new-lab-will-find-out/

About Julie Weckerlein

Julie Weckerlein is no stranger to the blogosphere. As a personal and professional blogger for the past 10 years, she further contributes to the internet as a web content manager for the Department of Defense. She's also an Air Force Reserve public affairs non-commissioned officer after a nine-year active duty career with assignments in Germany, Italy and the Pentagon, and a deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan as a combat correspondent for the Air Force News Service. Her affinity for science media started with her first magazine subscription to Ranger Rick at age 9 and she's never lost her excitement for the cool things happening in the world of science.
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  • http://www.gripbuy.com/Travel/travelocity.html Nadav

    Wow, I never saw such simulations before. It looks like the US army is getting ready for everything.

    Nadav

  • http://rentguy4fun.com Hot Boy

    Everything seams to be normal here. Is this a new? I don’t think so, most of the innovative technologies have been created for military needs. If not wrong, the internet has been planed and created for a secure and reliable connection between the forces.